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As part of the American Alliance of Museums’ (AAM) and the Association of Art Museum Directors’ (AAMD) commitment to developing exceptional talent in the museum field, we are pleased to offer the opportunity to participate in McKinsey’s Black Leadership Academy Management Accelerator, a program designed for high performing early- to mid-career managers who aspire to take the challenging leap into senior leadership. A detailed overview of the program can be found here.

The Management Accelerator program focuses on building core management and leadership capabilities, developing the cross-functional knowledge needed to lead successful museum businesses and teams, and strengthening personal networks. In addition, the program will provide practical ways to support diversity & inclusion priorities.

The program—which is entirely virtual—runs for approximately 50 hours over six months and is offered at no-cost to museums and participants.

AAM and AAMD have a select number of seats in the program over the course of 2021, with cohorts starting monthly from March through November. Please review the eligibility criteria below and complete the application no later than March 26, 2021.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must:

  • Be museum professionals with the high potential and aspirations to assume an executive-level role within a museum in the next five to ten years.
  • Have at least five to seven years of work experience, preferably in a museum.
  • Have at least one year of supervisory experience.
  • Be willing to fully commit to the six-month program (one to two hours per week) and to share lessons learned with AAM / AAMD.
  • Have the support of their organization to participate. Specifically, the museum must commit to providing paid time off and ensuring applicants have the freedom to fully participate in the program. Museum directors must submit their contact information and agree to the terms and conditions by March 26. Directors (or another senior leader from the museum) should also provide applicants with a brief letter of recommendation to submit with their applications.
  • Live and work in the U.S. at the time of application.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates a high potential for assuming leadership roles.
  • Demonstrates commitment to a career in the museum sector.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to sharing what they learn with the museum field.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all seats are filled.


Please complete the brief application form and submit the following materials by midnight Pacific Standard Time on March 26, 2021.

  • Your resume
  • Maximum 2,000-word count letter of recommendation from a leader within your museum that answers the questions: “In what capacity does the recommender know the applicant, and for how long? What makes the applicant a good candidate for the program?” The letter should also indicate the leader’s commitment to support your endeavors.

In addition to some questions about your professional experience, the application form asks for brief (250 word) responses to the following questions:

  • What are your goals for the next few years? How will participating in the Black Leadership Academy help you achieve them?
  • Describe a current project that best speaks to your capacity for leadership.
  • How have or will you extend your impact outside of your museum to contribute to the broader field?

We also invite applicants to respond to a series of optional demographic questions in the application form. This information will help us ensure that we are reaching a diverse pool of applicants. Information provided in response to the questions will not be disclosed publicly. Your application will still be considered, and your eligibility will not be impacted if you decline to answer any or all of these optional questions.

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